U.S. house prices rose in February, up 0.7 percent from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.7 percent from February 2019 to February 2020. The previously reported 0.3 percent increase for January 2020 was revised upward to 0.5 percent.
For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from January 2020 to February 2020 were all positive, ranging from 0.3 percent in the West South Central division to +1.2 percent in the Middle Atlantic division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +4.2 percent in the West South Central division to +8.1 percent in the Mountain division.
“U.S. house prices posted a strong increase in February,” according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “The growth in home prices coincides with other data showing robust housing market activity in early 2020 preceding the current crisis. House prices had positive monthly gains in every census division. Transactions still do not reflect much, if any, influence from the COVID-19 outbreak as of February.”
FHFA produces the nation’s only public, freely available house price indexes (HPIs) that measure changes in single-family house prices based on data that cover all 50 states and over 400 American cities and extend back to the mid-1970s. The HPIs are built on tens of millions of home sales and offer insights about house price fluctuations at the national, census division, state, metro area, county, ZIP code, and census tract levels. The FHFA HPIs use a fully transparent methodology based upon a weighted, repeat-sales statistical technique to analyze transaction data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA releases data and reports on a quarterly and monthly basis. The flagship FHFA HPI uses seasonally adjusted, purchase-only data, unless otherwise noted. Additional indexes are based on other data including refinances, FHA mortgages, and real property records. All the indexes can be downloaded from the FHFA website.
Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates for recent periods are provided in the tables and graphs on the following pages. Downloadable data and HPI release dates for all of 2020 are available here: https://www.fhfa.gov/HPI.
The next HPI report will be released May 26, 2020 with data for the first quarter of 2020 and monthly data through March 2020.